Zero Jerk Tolerance

Mar 31, 2022

Well, my email earlier today (“(Wo)mansplaining 101”) set off a firestorm…

Heck, it even triggered 5 dudes into unsubscribing! (Buh-bye, snowflakes!)

Seriously though, it’s such a universal experience for women… and not just limited to women… to have often far-less-qualified people tell us what we already know in order to give them that sense of self-importance that is otherwise lacking.

I mean, I heard from SO many people today… and I ended up being out of the office most of the afternoon with the typical “maintenance” appointments needed before heading off to a conference and speaking (you gals understand… hair, nails, etc.)

Definitely, a lot of accomplished women could relate. Top A-list copywriter and Mentoress Collective founder Marcella Allison wrote back almost right away with “Holy sh*t! This made me want to throw the computer at the wall. W.T.F.”

Dr. Cindy Childress, an Amazon best-selling ghostwriter and leading writing coach, wrote to say the dude who questioned the validity of the “mansplaining” incident I wrote about needed to “grow a pair and stop being so sensitive” (Amen, sister!)

And Angie Colee, launch consultant, confidence coach, and host of the “Permission to Kickass” podcast (one of my favorites), jumped in on my original LinkedIn post to share her own perspective…

“I live this. Who are you to tell me my reality isn’t real based on a story you don’t believe?

There’s a reason so many women resonate with this story – it’s because most of us have had it happen to us.

In corporate, I’d present an idea for a campaign that was ‘too risky’ or ‘not well thought out’. A male colleague presented THE EXACT SAME THING a week later and it was ‘forward thinking” and “just the kind of energy we need around here’.

I had to fight for a direct mail campaign that was low risk/high return with a C-suite executive who told me if he allocated capital to ‘my little pet project’ that meant they couldn’t spend on important things like store renovations.

And if I get frustrated when I’m not being heard or considered, I’m too emotional. It’s not everywhere, all the time. But it’s often enough to be a pattern.”

But it wasn’t just women I heard from. There were several guys who wrote in as well to show their support.

Like “Kings of Conversion” copywriter Robert Allen, who wrote in to say, “KIM! You legend. Every email you send is ace, but I have a special place in my heart for a good LinkedIn roast!”

And Story Power Marketing founder Tom Ruwitch, who had lots to say on this topic, made some great points about the misuse of the word “narrative”…

“I’m so tired of the ‘play into a narrative’ bit. They reject the big idea (in this case: mansplaining, misogyny, glass ceilings, etc.) and then brush off all evidence and details as ‘playing into a narrative.’ Such a common rhetorical trick on the news/commentary stations (both sides of the spectrum). 

They begin with the premise that the other side’s position is a BS story, ‘a narrative.’ So anything you present — even cold, hard facts — is naturally BS, too. Just a pack of lies, playing into the narrative. There’s no room for discussion. No room for nuance. No room for constructive debate. Ugh. Thanks for calling it out.”

I HAD to call this out.

Because I felt like I was sharing an example of “mansplaining gone unexpectedly wrong” that my fellow professional women could relate to… and that men could learn from.

But instead found myself playing defense because one dude decided it just couldn’t be true, rather than trust that of all people, maybe HE needed to listen…

I had many other female Copy Insiders write in saying they saw my LinkedIn post. One wrote me to say, “I wrote a ton of responses in my head while getting annoyed!”

But here’s the thing… when this kind of bad behavior happens, you HAVE to call it out. Especially when it’s within a client relationship or in the workplace. And the sooner you do so, the better.

Because otherwise that “jerk” will feel like they can walk all over you. And they’ll do it. Again and again and again.

It’s crucial to develop and enforce a “Zero Jerk Tolerance” policy when it comes to your freelancing, business, or other professional life.

In my Client Badassery Secrets e-book, I reveal my best-kept, hard-won secrets for filtering out “problem” clients before they can wreak their misery… climbing the copywriting “ladder” far more quickly… negotiating higher fees and “win-win” arrangements… avoiding common mistakes that make clients go “cheap” on you and lose respect for you… and many more lessons you’ll want to learn from ME rather than the HARD way…

And you’ll get all of these golden, fun-to-read, nuggets of valuable wisdom at a ridiculously low price thanks to the half-price savings I’m offering through tomorrow.

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You’ll get everything you need to start enforcing your own “Zero Jerk Tolerance” policy right away…

Yours for smarter marketing,